Conference paper Open Access

Why Is Relevance Still the Basic Notion in Information Science? (Despite Great Advances in Information Technology)

Saračević, Tefko

Relevance is a fundamental notion in information science. The aim of this
paper is to provide a perspective on two large questions, the first historical
the second contemporary: (1) Why did relevance become a central notion of
information science? (2) In this day and age of huge advances in information
technology, why did relevance still remain a central notion? In the 1950s,
relevance emerged as a central notion in information science because of extensive
theoretical and practical concerns with and commitments to searching
and not only with organization of information. In turn, searching was connected
to and made possible by many innovations in computers and computing.
Contemporary advances in information technology brought about great
many changes. Search engines, social media, and a myriad of new information
resources emerged and transformed the world. Searching for information is used widely all over the globe by all kinds of populations and reasons.
However, searching is still based on relevance. Relevance was and still is a
fundamental notion related to searching and retrieval of information. Conclusions
emphasize that information technology and myriad applications are
changing at an accelerated pace. However, no matter what, relevance is here
to stay. Relevance is timeless. Concerns about relevance will always be
timely.

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